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Tell Me Where You're From


bloviatrix
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In an essay about pie at Thanksgiving, Melanie Kirkpatrick wrote in yesterday's Wall Street Journal:

Clementine Paddleford, the late, delightfully named food writer, once declared: "Tell me where your grandmother came from and I can tell you how many kinds of pie you serve for Thanksgiving."

Mrs. Paddleford did her survey in the 1950s, when she concluded that Midwesterners served two (mince and pumpkin), New Englanders three (mince, pumpkin and cranberry), Bostonians four (mince, pumpkin, cranberry and a gussied-up version of apple pie called Marlborough) and Southerners none (they preferred "wine jelly, tender and trembling"). As Saveur noted in an article on Mrs. Paddleford, one wonders about the grandmothers of the Western states, who rate no mention.

Where's your grandmother from?

How many pies graced your Thanksgiving table? And what types are they?

FWIW, I wonder how this applies to those of us whose grandparents emigrated to the US -- we had one pie, pecan.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Where's your grandmother from?

Mother's side: South Africa (her parents were from Lithuania).

Father's side: What's now Ukraine (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire).

How many pies graced your Thanksgiving table?

None, but we did have some nut and apple strudel I brought from my local Hungarian-style kosher bakery, so I guess that would figure, except that it's more typical for there to be a pumpkin pie and some other kind of pie (pecan last year; other years, apple, sweet potato, et al.)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Another mixed answer.

Grandma on mom's side from Germany (Ukrainian husband); grandma on dad's side from Missouri.

Which led, inexplicably, to pecan, mincemeat (tarts), and pumpkin pies.

And I made a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year. For the winter holidays I think I'll make pecan, though.

Grandmas might make stuff from their families (or countries) of origin, which is why I'm a freak for all foods funky and German, but they also end up making stuff for and from the families (and countries) they end up in.

V

V

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My father was from Poland. My mother was American, but her family also hailed from Poland. We never had pie, we always had some sort of cake from the bakery on Jerome Avenue.

But one year, I guess I was about 15 or 16, I decided to make an apple pie. Crust, filling, the works. Actually I made two. It was from a recipe I found in the Daily News around Thanksgiving time, and I decided I wanted to try to make it. And the truth is, those were the best pies I ever made. They came out great -- they were beautiful and they were delicious. Too bad I didn't save the recipe. I guess it was beginner's luck. (I didn't know they would drip all over the place while they baked, and I made a complete mess of my mother's oven, but she was okay about it.)

These days I always go to my good friends in Philadelphia for Thanksgiving. No pie. But plenty of good desserts. :smile: They're of Eastern European stock.

Edited by cakewalk (log)
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My mom's mom was from France and my dad's mom, french canadian. Thanksgiving was in early october in Canada so we would have blueberry pies, raspberry pies and "sugar" pies, which was a smooth caramel-like filling made out of maple syrup. Never even heard of a sweet potato pie until I moved to this country. But I love it now.

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mother is from upstate new york...dad is from kentucky...but i was born in san angelo...raised in san antonio.... and have lived in the dallas fort worth area for awhile now...in years past there have been a selection of pies gracing the thanksgiving table..apple...cherry...blueberry..pecan...pumpkin...mom basically used to do the fruit pies and the pumpkin pies but i dont recall that she ever did the pecan pies...thats something i started doing on my own after i grew up ..i was addicted to them as a child...you could buy the little pecan pies at the stores and i got hooked at an early age...so being the texan that i am..had to learn how to bake them on my own...i did do one last year...but not this year...mainly since both my finace and myself are diabetic and as yet ive not figured out how to make them with splenda yet...but im working on it...this year i used the splenda in our pumpkin pie and it came out great..perhaps not as sweet as it would have been had i used real sugar...but well worth effort..and one happy little accident i discovered in the process is that a wonderful side benefit to using the splenda as opposed to the sugar we can no longer have is...the pie doenst burn and if you accidentally get filling on the outer crust..that too does not burn

Edited by ladyyoung98 (log)

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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Mom's side was from Italy, and Dad's from Austria-Hungary (no idea of the town, so not sure of the exact country these days *wry*). We had pumpkin pie, mincemeat pie, pecan pie, apple crisp, 2 kinds of cheesecake (plain & pumpkin), rice pudding, and sweet potato cake (my "unusual" contribution).

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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Mom's mom: Nebraska. Dad's mom: East Texas.

Pies? I never ate Thanksgiving dinner with Mom's side of the family; Grandma Smith served only pumpkin pie, as I do to this day.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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My grandmothers grew up in Pittsburgh, but they were the children of immigrants (parents from Belfast on my dad's side, northern Italy on my mom's). My Italian grandmother can't cook at all -- I never ate Thanksgiving dinner with her growing up, but I suspect any pies would be either pumpkin pie from a can and frozen pastry or bought from the store. My dad's mother was the best baker I've ever met, but pie wasn't her specialty. She'd do a good pumpkin pie and a lot of fantastic cookies.

Growing up, my mother would usually make a pumpkin pie. (Like her mother, she can't cook. Thanksgiving was close to the only day she cooked all year.) When I made the pies -- mostly in college, haven't had Thanksgiving with my parents in a while for one reason or another -- it was usually pumpkin and whatever else people liked. One year it was pumpkin and lemon merengue, because I was dating someone who really liked lemon merengue pie.

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Father: Riau Islands

Mother: Singapore

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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Mom: Tennesse

Dad: Texas

Boyfriend's mom: Illinois, with a German mother

Boyfriend's dad: Pennsylvania, with a German mother

I HAD to make a pumpkin pie for him and made a key lime pie because we had visitors from out of Florida with us. But growing up, we always had pecan pie and a lemon meringue, with a chocolate icebox pie on the years the Grandma from Tennessee was with us.

Diana

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Mayflower descendant on both sides;

Father's family: Had a family farm in Massachussetts until the Great Depression.

Mother's family: Dutch branch settled in upstate New York in the 1640's.

I was raised in central NY State, and I *never* heard of cranberry pie!

I served pumpkin pie, apple pie, and I would have done a mincemeat pie if I could have found some of that filling in any of the local stores. (My New Mexican neighbors have never heard of mincemeat!) :raz:

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Mother: North Lousiana (Family in US since arriving in Georgia in 1750's from Scotland)

Father: South Arkansas (Grandfather was German, jumped ship in Savannah in 1901)

Pies:

Pecan Pie

Chocolate Chess Pie

Was there any doubt?

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Cranberry pie? I've lived in New England since I was nine, and I've never heard of it. There's one for the archives.

Amen!

Grand parents on one side original New Englanders (aside from Native Americans and supposedly a bit of that, too) -- mincemeat and pumpkin (or squash) pies. Other grandparents from Canada but died before any memories of Thanksgiving.

"Last week Uncle Vinnie came over from Sicily and we took him to the Olive Garden. The next day the family car exploded."

--Nick DePaolo

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One grandmother originallyfrom Oklahoma but later Washington state. The other grandmother originally from Illinois but also later Washington state.

Mostly pumpkin pie, but my mother always baked 1 or 2 dozen fruitcakes, wrapped them in brandy soaked cheesecloth, then "tin" foil, and stored them for a year before distributing them. I'd been known to sneak out of bed in the middle of the night, accompanied by my brother, and quietly unwrap one (or maybe two), squeeze the brandy out, drink it, then carefully re-wrap so there were no telltale signs. Ah, sneaky little kids! :laugh: We also poked a little hole in the 50 pound sugar bag, wet a finger and licked the sugar off. We always blamed the hole on those blasted mice! I don't think my mother was fooled. :unsure:

--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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Both parents, and both sets of grandparents were born and raised in Nebraska.

We usually have 2 pies. If we're at my mother's side it's apple and pumpkin. If it's on my dad's side, rum cheesecake (in a pie tin, so it counts) and pumpkin.

This year we only had chocolate meringue. Odd.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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England and Norway.

For Thanksgiving it was always apple and pumpkin pie. But the rest of the year? Nana always had a pie on the counter for after-school snacks: apple (from our orchard), blackberry or rhubarb (from the garden), peach, lemon meringue and chocolate meringue. :wub:

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Mary Baker

Solid Communications

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For our CANADIAN Thanksgiving in Oct, we had the usual pumpkin, lemon meringue,

saskatoon , plus a new one, pumpkin/pecan pie.

For our neighbors south of the border, saskatoons are a prairies berry, look like a smaller blueberry, but the falvour is very distinctive. You'd use them the same way as blueberries.

At one time, we could go out and pick wild saskatoons. Now, with excessice land clearing , these bushes are harder and harder to find. :sad: So now, they have sasktoon farms where you can go and pick'ur'own.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Though I didn't grow up in New England, most of my family's been there since the 1600s. I used to go back most years for the holidays, and we did always have pumpkin, apple, and mincemeat pies, with other fruit pies for variety. (Plus Indian pudding!)

Never saw a cranberry pie that I can remember.

The first time I went to a friend's for Thanksgiving and they had dark, rich, chocolate creme pie . . . HALLELUJAH!

This year I only had pumpkin pie. Kids and SO are not big pie eaters.

"Hey, don't borgnine the sandwich." -- H. Simpson

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Both parents, New England via Austria a generation back.

pumpkin pie and apple pie...

An old New England family we knew definately always had mincemeat pie as well. However it wasn't something my Mom wanted to try and perpetuate in "the new country". A little too foreign for one weaned on tortes and strudels...

I never heard of cranberry pie either--but looking in The Mystic Seaport Cookbook which has lots of older recipes that do have two recipes for a "cranberry tart"-- which has two crusts and looks to be a pie! There are two different fillings given; one with cranberries and oranges pre-cooked before going into the pie; the other not, with cranberries, oranges and pecans.

She (Lillian Langseth-Christensen) mentions that "the spelling of cranberries differs with the age of the recipe. You'll find them listed as 'cramberry' or 'craneberry' in addition to "cranberry".

I was intrigued with the mention of "Marlborough Pie" mentioned above from Massachusetts which I hadn't heard of. I think I must try this some time--it's an open-faced pie described by John T. Edge below in an interview re: his recent book on "Apple Pies":

You know, people ask me, "Where's the best pie in America?" That's not the point of the book. But I'm almost inclined to say, the most confounding and delightful is Marlborough pie [a single-crust variation filled with a lemon- and sherry-spiked custard of pureed apples and eggs]. Here's a pie originally made from wormed fruit; a pie that's earned its integrity and peculiar taste; a pie that is very much a regional dish of Massachusetts and New England; a pie that was once so popular that it was the Thanksgiving pie but that has fallen into ill favor. I had a book signing in Oxford recently and we served Marlborough pie. People went gaga for it.

Other recipes have nutmeg as a flavoring.

It was also interesting to see b/c I had been independently leafing thru Bill Neal's Biscuits, Spoonbread and Sweet Potato Pie for inspiration last week and found an old Southern recipe with some similarities to Marlborough Pie that I also want to try soon called, "Vanity Pie". It's also an open-faced pie and the filling is grated apples, eggs, sugar, bread or cake crumbs, orange juice and zest, orange liqueur and butter....

Both pie fillings are essentially an apple-citrus curd with optional flavorings of sherry or nutmeg...

(Mentioned in another thread, but I tried another pie in his book that was excellent--Pear and Ginger Two-Crust Pie (Ginger from crystallized ginger; also flavored w/tangerine zest...)

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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